“Fantastic Beasts” First Trailer Breakdown
How on earth did time fly by so quickly? I remember the day the news came out that there would be a Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film. I thought, “Not until 2016? That’s so far away! I’ll be so old then,” and now, here we are in the final stretch leading up to the film’s release, and we have just gotten our first glimpse at Newt’s story through a short trailer. Now, to do as we have always done, here is a scene-by-scene breakdown of what we are seeing in this trailer.
Yes, I know it’s the oldest trick in the book to use a throwback to a previous film that is associated with the one being advertised, but how could you not get excited at the words “Lumos Maxima“? What a great way to start off a trailer that such a loyal audience has been holding their breath for. This throwback leads us into another familiar feeling as we fly through the Warner Bros. logo, ready to embark on another journey in J.K. Rowling’s magical universe.
The first bit of film footage we get in the trailer is this shot of Katherine Waterston as Newt’s future wife Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein. She’s in a large, hollow chamber that’s lined with people standing on the sidelines. This seems to be the American version of the Wizengamot since it looks like the courtroom seen in the Harry Potter universe.
On the floor that Tina is standing on we can see the circled pentagram symbol, a symbol long associated with magical and mystical traditions. The circle around the pentagram is said to represent the secrecy of the practice of magic, so this makes sense to be a symbol on the floor of the MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America).
During this clip, we hear Tina relaying information about the escaped beasts to the MACUSA. Why is Tina telling them what happened instead of Newt? Is this some sort of inquiry she was called to because she works at the MACUSA?
This shot gives us our first glimpse of Carmen Ejogo, who’s casting was announced back in October. Ejogo plays a character named Seraphina, who appears to be head of the MACUSA since in this shot we see that this is whom Tina is reporting to. There is also an eagle emblem behind Seraphina, which must be the MACUSA emblem, a spin on the American
Muggle No-Maj government’s symbol of the eagle.
We are given a glimpse of the exterior of the Woolworth Building, in which the MACUSA is located. I am in love with this shot. There are no characters in it, but it gets me all excited for the 1920s setting of the film. I’m so ready for a wizarding Great Gatsby. It’s going to be amazing!!! Can you tell I’m trying not to switch to all caps on my keyboard?
Here we see the case being carried through what I’m guessing is the atrium of the MACUSA, which Stuart Craig has said will have a 700-foot ceiling. It’s hard to tell who is carrying the case, but it would make sense for it to be Tina since this is probably a shot as she’s heading to the courtroom that we saw in the beginning of the trailer.
This is our first glimpse of Colin Farrell as Percival Graves, an American Auror. He is standing in a damaged building that was obviously torn apart by one of the beasts from Newt’s case. So what magical creature caused the damage? Based on what creatures we already know will be in the film, our guess is an Ashwinder, which is a serpent created from the embers of a magical fire if left to burn unchecked. Second on our guess list is an Erumpent, but since that has not been confirmed to be featured in the film, it takes a bit of a backseat to the Ashwinder theory.
Here it is, folks: our first shot of Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander! When he opens the case, we hear the roar of a beast from inside, so this tells us that not all the creatures have escaped. How many are in that thing? Who opened the case to let them all out? The plot synopsis of the film hints at the Muggle character Jacob having something to do with the release of the beasts. So many questions! We have been given glimpses at Newt’s character for a while now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that money must be hard to come by as a magical naturalist. His clothing always seems a little bit shabby, and this little room he is staying in looks quite barren.
Another shot of Porpentina. So we now know that this trailer is moving backward in the film’s timeline. This is when Tina finds out the case was opened. She must go to the MACUSA after this conversation with Newt.
“Just a smidge.” Yes, yes, yes! I love Newt already. He’s adorable! Okay, so if it was only opened “a smidge,” it must only take a tiny opening to release a bunch of beasts. This makes me wonder how Newt puts beasts back into the case without more coming out.
That guy running behind Newt is Jacob. No wonder he found out about the wizarding world… Newt isn’t exactly being very discreet with his magic, is he? The voice in the background is a mystery, but since the trailer never touched on the subplot of the Second Salemers, I’m guessing this is the moment where they come in. I think the voice saying “Mr. Scamander” is that of Mary Lou, a fanatic Second Salemer who is trying to dispose of witches and wizards.
Just like that, this film suddenly feels very real. The release is just under a year away, so this is just the beginning! Let us know what you thought of the trailer and any theories you might have in the comments!